I got BUCKED off of Steady a couple weeks ago. Haven't been bucked off of a horse in nearly two decades. I have some theories in the works as to what is going on with Steady but I know I need to get to the bottom of it. I am working on it, more on that later. He was tense, jumpy and irritated the moment I got on his back. I tried to keep his feet moving and his mind working by doing turns on the forehand, figure 8's over poles etc. It would seem to help slightly but he was still a ball of tense energy that all culminated with an out of the blue massive buck that sent me flying to his neck. I think when you have fallen off of horses as many time as I have(though only 3 times in adulthood but as a kid I was a very "brave" rider and would get on anything, anytime, anywhere, doing anything) my mind has the ability to thoroughly think through the split seconds that feel like a stand still in time as you are in the process of falling to the ground. Here are the series of events. We were walking. My daughter was bareback on Lily. Lily was being silly and put her foot on a flower box jump and knocked it over. Steady spooked(barely) we were stopped. I looked over to see what she was doing and before I knew it he threw in a HUGE buck. I came so far out of the saddle and hit his neck. My right foot came out of my stirrup and as I was falling forward I knew I was going to come off and I immediately thought about my left foot still being in the stirrup and I was flying forward(not a good combo). I had the clarity of mind to think through how I could get my foot out. I quickly kicked my foot back as well as I could as I he continued to spin and buck then bolt. As I was coming off and pushed away as much as I could I rolled and landed on my side. I am grateful I walked away with only whiplash in my neck to show for it. Especially since my husband was 1000 miles away at the time. And I have to say I am grateful for all that unplanned dismount practice I recieved as a child because now flying off a horse is a quite, calm and thoughtful experience.
I felt the fast and hard jerk in my neck during the buck. I landed in a pile of snow on my side. The snow definitely helped cusion my fall. Steady hopped about 3 steps and stopped, turned and looked at me. I wanted to get up and kill him but since he stopped and waited for me I decided to reinforce that behavior (not the bucking but the standing and waiting when I come off). I calmly walked up to him grabbed the reins as my daughter ran to get the lunge line. I hopped right back on and could feel round two coming so I emergency dismounted and decided to work through this on the ground and save my neck. I lunged him and he was out of control. Doing anything and everything to evade me. The footing was terrible and that was adding to his behavior because he does not like to slip around on unsure footing. I hated to do it but the way he was acting had to be handled. We fought for about 30 minutes until he could go around remotely polite. He was hot and sweaty. It was a bad day. The next day I was equally sore in my upper body from
I have ridden a couple times since then and he has not offered to buck since so I am hoping that means it is not going to become a thing. The cause? I am starting to strongly consider ulcers. As soon as I am done paying my last vet bill I am going to get some ulcer medication to keep on hand. He seems like he can be two totally different horses at times and ulcers is the only thing that I can think of that can come on quick, without much notice and cause his 'symptoms'. It may also be an explination as to turning into a firebreathing dragon at shows. Any ulcer insight out there? Could these things be connected? Pre-bucking incident he had been on banmine and an antibiotic for a couple weeks. He started refusing his food. I could only get him to finish one feeding a day and he seemed extra jumpy about everything. These same things happen within about 12 hours at a show. Do ulcers come on that quickly? I would love to pick any brains out there that have experience with this.